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Articles | Featured | Future

BEST OF / YEAR END

Chris May's Best Releases of 2018

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2018 is the year in which British jazz has finally come of age. After decades in the shadow of its American parent, a community of jny: London-based musicians has emerged with a singular and geographically distinct aesthetic which reflects the Caribbean and African heritages of the majority of its vanguard stylists and incorporates other London creations such as grime and garage in the mix. Jazz was created by black musicians. The new London scene is by no means racially exclusive, ...

INTERVIEWS

A Conversation with Music Author Alan Light

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It is not an overstatement to label music journalist and writer Alan Light as one of the premier biographers and music historians. Light's heralded books include “The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah," “Let's Go Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain," “The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys," “What Happened, Miss Simone?" and the recently published illustrated biography of Johnny Cash “Johnny Cash: The Life ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Whose Hat is This?: Everything's OK

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On Everything's OK, the core of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, plus vocalist Kokayi, present a live rendition of a spontaneous collaboration captured in December 2017. Free-form in both concept and execution, the group offers a the sophomore album for those who like their sounds as liberated as they are liberating. As such, it may well serve as a gateway for music lovers not otherwise inclined toward free jazz but will definitely deliver a balm to those who are.

LIVE REVIEWS

Brian Wilson Presents The Christmas Album Live

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Brian Wilson with Beat Root Revival NYCB Theatre at Westbury Brian Wilson Presents The Christmas Album Live Westbury, NY December 5, 2018 Brian Wilson is many things. As one of the most influential songwriters of all time, a founding member and the musical force behind the Beach Boys, and a Grammy-winning inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his story is well-known. On a cool early December evening, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Josh Sinton's Predicate Trio: Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically

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Considerate isn't an adjective you generally apply to creative new jazz recordings these days. Vanguard musicians are accustomed to employing the shock and awe required to get attention and satisfy their constituents. Maybe that is why Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically is such a breath of fresh air. Josh Sinton's Predicate Trio delivers an exceedingly empathic recording. Sinton is a veteran of Darcy James Argue's Secret Society Large Ensemble, Nate Wooley's Quintet, Anthony ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eagles: Legacy

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Sometimes a gift box is just a gift box and that's certainly true of Eagles' Legacy. Not to disparage its ample resources, this is not quite the definitive history of these commercial kingpins of the Seventies. But then, there's never been one, at least in any format similar to this: Selected Works (Elektra, 2000) comes close, but, in keeping with its title, the thematic collation of music on CDs curtails its comprehensive historical potential, as do the alternately fawning and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Beeferman: Other Life Forms

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New York-based pianist, composer Gordon Beeferman is also a 2016 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, in addition to his multifarious career spanning several music genres and extensive collaborations with a diverse array of artists and bands. On this outing he leads a quartet, featuring a notable cast of like-minded futurists. Beeferman is armed with a distinct compositional style and is perhaps an under-recognized leader amid the 'new' music vibe, where progressive jazz is fused with classical, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sonar: Live At Moods

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Swiss experimentalists Sonar found a new groove on their album Vortex (RareNoiseRecords, 2018): the marriage of their intricate pattern playing with the American guitarist/live looper David Torn's raw emotional abandon created a rich synthesis. This live album is a celebration of that sound, but it is much more than a live version of their collaboration in the studio. Opener “Twofold Covering" starts out in fresh territory, adding Torn to a track from Sonar's Static Motion (Cuneiform Records, 2014). ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two Exciting And Poignant Albums From Wendy Eisenberg

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A fearless improviser with a refreshing disregard for genre, Wendy Eisenberg is a poet, banjoist and vocalist yet Eisenberg's guitar fully showcases her mastery. This virtuoso explores all dimensions of her instrument with fiery elegance and a vibrant sense of adventure to her music. In 2018 she released two stimulating and unique albums: Its Shape is Your Touch (VSDQ, 2018) and The Machinic Unconscious (Tzadik, 2018). Wendy Eisenberg Its Shape is Your Touch VSDQ 2018 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mariel Austin: Runner in the Rain

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In case anyone is wondering whether big-band jazz continues to hold appeal for younger musicians, witness this debut five-track album from trombonist Mariel Austin. Despite (or perhaps because of) her youth, Austin possesses an ambitious and expansive vision. And on Runner in the Rain, she marshals a skilled ensemble, many of whom are friends from the New England Conservatory or the Berklee College of Music, to craft music that has one foot firmly planted in the jazz tradition, while the ...